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Marriage

 

Many people both now and in the past have made the choice to marry. Marriage exists across many cultures in this world. With so many people choosing to enter into marriage it must be something important to many people.  

The idea of marriage came from God at creation - marriage is not a man-made idea.  

Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said,

"This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman' for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis Ch.2:22-24 

So if God created and designed marriage what does He have to say about it? 

Commitment 

It is a commitment made for life. This commitment is made before God.  

Words of Jesus:

and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." Mark Ch.10:8-9 

God sees it as a contract which is not to be taken lightly and certainly not to be broken later on. Those entering into marriage must see it the same way. 

Marriage is a commitment made for life

One flesh 

When a man and a woman enter into marriage they symbolically become one flesh. 

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Genesis Ch.2:24 

This is a union of a coupleís hearts and lives. Throughout the Bible, God treats this special partnership seriously. The goal in marriage should be more than friendship; it should be oneness. The couple will keep their own individual identities and personalities, yet a combined identity is now formed. 

The following are ways that the couple are now a combined identity:

Spiritually one: The man and woman encourage each other to work in Godís service. Also, to grow in faith, love and hope. 

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. 1 Peter Ch.3:7

Emotionally one: Because of their trust for each other, the couple are also emotionally one. They feel comfortable in discussing their innermost thoughts with each other. 

Physically one: the bodies of men and women were designed by God to be physically one. 

The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 1 Corinthians Ch.7:4 

        Sexual physical closeness should only happen when the couple have first made a commitment to each other before God. 

What makes for a happy marriage 

God being the creator of marriage also knows what makes for a happy marriage. The secret to a happy marriage is submitting to each other. 

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Ephesians 5:21 

So what does submission in marriage mean? It means putting the needs of your partner before your own needs. Rather than husbands and wives trying to get their own way all the time, the couple will discuss issues together and try to find the best direction for the partnership. 

Submitting to another person is a concept that is often misunderstood. It does not mean becoming a doormat! For the wife, submission means willingly following her husbandís leadership in Christ. For the husband, it means putting aside his own interests in order to care for his wife. Submission is rarely a problem in homes where both partners have a strong relationship with Christ and where each is concerned for the happiness of the other. 

Happy marriages come from submitting to each other

 

Article 14

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The role of the husband 

In regard to salvation, men and women share equal status. 

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians Ch.3:28 

But God intended there to be different roles for the husband and wife. The reason he did this was so that the two people would complement each other and work well together. The role of the husband is one of leadership. 

For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

Ephesians Ch.5:23-25 

Both husband and wife have specific roles to play in marriage

The husband has the responsibility of making decisions for the family. The husband is responsible for the direction the family takes spiritually. To do this, husbandís must look to Christ for the example of a loving and self-sacrificing leadership style. 

Husbands should always respect their wives and be considerate. 

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs

with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. 1 Peter 3:7 

Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Colossians Ch.3:19 

The role of the wife 

At the time of creation, God created a helper for man. 

The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Genesis Ch.2:18 

The wife provides the strength, support and companionship. In marriage, a wife and husband are to work together in activities that will develop each other spiritually. 

Part of the role which the wife plays is to recognise her husbandís leadership role. 

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Ephesians Ch.5:33 

 

Marriage to an unbeliever 

God instructed the Israelites not to marry people from neighbouring nations. 

Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD's anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. Deuteronomy Ch.7:3-4 

The reasons he didnít want the Israelites to marry people from other nations was that it would turn them away from him. 

The Bible makes it clear that marriage must be to someone who ďbelongs to the LordĒ. 

A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 1 Corinthians Ch.7:39 

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." 2 Corinthians Ch.6:14-16 

This means finding a partner who has the same faith and has made a commitment to God through baptism. 

Divorce 

Godís words about divorce are clear: 

"I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, Malachi Ch.2:16 

A believer should never consider divorce. The Bible goes further and says that a person who divorces and then remarries is an adulterer. 

He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery." Mark Ch.10:11-12 

Summary 

Marriage is a commitment for life where man and woman become one spiritually, emotionally and physically. Marriage can be a joyous way of living provided the husband and wife submit to each other in all parts of their marriage.

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Last Updated: Sunday, 08 March 2015